The Bicycles of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show
Cars and trucks, both production and concept models, are the obvious centerpiece of every North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2015 exhibition is no different.
Yet, among the hundreds of gasoline and diesel, as well as hydrogen and electric vehicles, were a handful of bicycles, all essentially used as props to emphasize the out-of-doors quality of the vehicles beneath them.
As EV World's editor in chief strolled the expansion main exhibition floor, he snapped the photos of four of the bicycles he came across. All of them are conventional manual pedal bikes. None are electric. Absent from the smart display was it's eBike, a representative explaining the focus this year was on their cars; adding that there are no immediate plans to bring the electric bicycle to North America, which is, of course, a shame.
While Ford Motor Company does offer two electric bicycle models, one a beach cruiser-type from Pedego and a folding model from Dahon, neither appeared visible in the huge Ford display area, which is largely dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Mustang.
The only dedicated bicycle manufacturer to exhibit is Detroit-based Shinola, which prides itself on creating jobs in the motor city building not only bikes, but also watches, leather goods, pet supplies and journals.
Subaru mounted a simple, inexpensive, single-speed cruiser atop one of their vehicles, apparently applying their logo to its frame.
Chevrolet used a pair of Specialized mountain bikes to draw attention to its 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year winning Colorado pickup.
Where the bikes our editor in chief came across this year were relatives affordable, readily available, off-the-floor models, the Lexus NXB featured at the top of the page is a custom model, the first iteration being unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. States the Lexus website :
"… the bike has been a companion project to Lexus’ NX development, and it specifically channels the vehicle’s urban-adventure design sentiment and technical precision."
Displaying bicycles at car shows is not a new phenomenon. Mercedes-Benz has done it in the past. So has Ford Motor Company back in the Th!nk electric car era. Of all the manufacturers, however, Smart appears to be the only one to integrate it - along with an electric motorscooter concept - into its vehicle lineup.
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